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Mackinac Island, Michigan is a virtual Victorian era theme park where transportation is limited to horse & buggy or bicycle, and cars are used for emergencies only. Also known as Mackinaw Island, it is located between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas and is reached by ferry from nearby Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. Three different ferry companies transport visitors to this island that seems to have escaped the changes of time, and whose permanent residents number only around 500. As soon as you step off the ferry, you have entered a Victorian village where you must watch out for horses, people stepping out of carriages and bicycles – just as you would have been in the early 20th century. Main Street is lined with gift shops, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The Victorian architecture, carriages and blue water of Lake Huron creates an unbelievable picture - so be sure and bring your camera. Mackinac Island, in fact, was the setting for the romantic movie, “Somewhere in Time,” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

Mackinac Island’s all-natural theme park atmosphere is great for either couples or families with children, and it was named one of the ten finest state parks in the country by National Geographic. The island is eighty percent state park, and in summer tourists come to escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the lakeshore breezes, fine restaurants and grand hotels. Walking and carriage tours are available, and are a good way to learn all about the island. It’s a four-season resort area, where summer temperatures are moderate and hiking, biking and horseback riding are some of the favorite activities. Autumn on Mackinac Island brings some of the best color displays in the country along with events such as Oktoberfest and Halloween parades. Winters are cold and ferry service depends on weather and ice conditions. Air service is available from the nearby St. Ignace airport, and if the weather turns cold enough, an ice bridge forms between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island that can be used by visitors arriving on snowmobiles.

Shopping and dining are part of the overall experience of Mackinac Island. Enjoy everything from local pubs and taverns offering a warm atmosphere and American culinary classics to world-class restaurants featuring an array of European dishes. Visitors love the unique variety of shops on the island, where you can take home an original painting from one of the many Mackinac Island artists or some of Mackinac Island’s famous homemade fudge, made fresh daily with real cream, butter and the finest natural ingredients. Mackinac Island is less than an hour away from Canada, and the Mackinac Straits Area is also home to three National Historic Sites and an outdoor family waterpark. In 1999, Conde Nast Traveler readers placed Mackinac Island in the “World’s Twenty Most Beautiful Islands,” for scenery and environment, and in 2001 the magazine ranked it 8th of the “temperate islands” in its’ “Top Twenty Islands in the World” list.


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